Officer Harry Dunn gave a sobering account of the Jan. 6 insurrection in an interview with ABC News that aired on Monday. Dunn recounted how a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump seized the US Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the counting of the Electoral College.
The insurrection left a Capitol Police officer dead and 140 other officers injured. Two additional Capitol Police officers died by suicide in the days following the Jan. 6 attack.
Dunn, speaking only on behalf of himself, said that officers were beaten with “Blue Lives Matter” flags. The Blue Lives Matter slogan was adopted in recent years by supporters of law enforcement and as a rebuttal to the Black Lives Matter movement, which has rallied to eradicate racism from policing.
"I got called a [N-word] a couple dozen times today protecting this building,” said Dunn. “Is this America? They beat police officers with Blue Lives Matter flags. They fought us; they had Confederate flags in the U.S. Capitol.”
Last week, the Capitol Police said in a statement to Scripps that 35 officers were being investigated for their actions during the Capitol insurrection, including six of whom who were placed on paid suspension. While some officers may have acted inappropriately during the riots given the suspensions, Dunn recounted the heroic actions of his colleagues. One of whom mention by Dunn was Officer Eugene Goodman, who infamously coaxed rioters away from the Senate chamber and helped Sen. Mitt Romney get to safety.
The Senate later voted to give Goodman a Congressional Medal of Freedom.
“There were dozens of Eugene Goodmans that day,” said Dunn. “Eugene got caught on camera and I'm not surprised that he did the right thing, the brave thing, the heroic thing -- there were so many Eugene Goodmans that weren't caught on camera that day… and I'm proud to work with all of them.”
The Jan. 6 insurrection prompted Speaker Nancy Pelosi to propose a “9/11 type commission” to look into what caused the Capitol insurrection, and the failures that ensued to protect the Capitol. The unprecedented security failure prompted the chief of the Capitol Police, House sergeant at arms and the Senate sergeant at arms all to resign.
Dunn described the scenes from a shattered Capitol amid the insurrection.
“This time you look up, it's just a cloud of smoke, fire extinguishers have been going off,” Dunn said. “The floors are covered in white dust, water bottles, broken flagpoles, mask, empty canisters of pepper spray, helmets, Trump flags, everything in the rotunda, just lying there on the floor.”
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk.Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.